Drenched in thick melancholic ambiences and dark gothic breath Untouchable Failure, the new album from Italian band Resonance Room, with skill and enterprise easily captures the imagination even if it at times struggles to ignite the same blaze of engagement with the passions. To be honest it is impossible not to develop a strong appetite for the album ensuring many returns to its inventive and emotive grandeur but at the same time it lacks the consistency to spark the raging fire it certainly suggests is within the hands of the band to inspire at some point.
Formed in 2008 out of the ashes of the band Fragment, the quartet from Catania was soon signed to My Kingdom Music and released debut album Unspoken a year later. It met with strong responses towards its gothic metal persuasion veined with strong flavours drawn from other genres. New album Untouchable Failure continues where its predecessor left off with Resonance Room expanding their sound with even more diversity and accomplished craft. To its rich gothic breath the album offers essences of doom and progressive metal whispering loudly whilst elements of classic metal and melodic elegance add their impacting presences for a blaze of imagination. Heard within the album are spices of influences to the band such as Katatonia, Anathema, Pain of Salvation, and Porcupine Tree, as well as times a strong melodic emotion which sparks thoughts of Poets Of The Fall.
The opening flames of first song The Great Insomnia immediately attracts a concentrated focus, their touch a scorching rub on the ear around rhythmic sinews and an air blistering atmosphere. The song then slips into a delicious stroll of sonic elegance, warm and inviting vocals from Alessandro Consoli, and a compelling melodic caress from the guitar of Riccardo Failla. It is a mesmeric embrace which takes no time in raising expectations and anticipation of something toweringly impressive ahead. Shifting its gait, stance, and invention consistently, the track is an outstanding start with the subsequent lure of the mischievous keys sealing the already done deal between heart and song.
The stunning start is followed by Cages Of Dust and So Precious, two songs which undoubtedly make a valid and powerful case for their claim on the passions but just fail in their quest. The two songs with craft offer imagination and invention which leaves a strong if not lasting impression with the bass of Alfio Timoniere especially in the first of the pair casting shadows in the mellower moments and prowling with strong intent when the track opens up its muscles. Neither of the two cast a permanent mark on the ear unlike their predecessor and it is this not only here but with other songs which despite their excellent thought and presence leaves the album struggling to find the ardour it possibly should have deserved or earnt.
For each track which just fails to reap its rewards emotionally there is another like New Life which more than makes up for their missed opportunity. The song is an evocative wash of vocal strength from Consoli, a singer who leaves so many other more renowned vocalists in his shade with his performance upon the album, and fiery and at times emotionally acidic guitar invention, whilst the rhythms from drummer Sandro Galati enclose and frame the impacting encounter with surety and enterprising restraint. It is a stunning track which again shows the depths and rich songwriting of the band.
The likes of Naivety and Oblivion and A Picture repeat the irresistible heights the band do attain within the album, both kaleidoscopes of aural colour and melodic imagery which entwines tenderness and voracity within their inventive courses. Though other songs like Outside The Maze and Prometheus, like some of the earlier songs are near misses in finding a long-term union with the listener the album ensures it ends on a further intensive glory with closing song Faded, a song with a melancholy which wraps itself around the passions.
It is only the lack of enough sparking moments to ensure a continual fervour across its length which stops the album from being a full on classic. Every song on Untouchable Failure is beautifully thought out and realised with a depth of imagination many bands would deal with the devil for. One feels Resonance Room will make that classic one day, with this only just falling short it is hard to think otherwise.
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